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Oct 10, 2013 12:56 PM

Combine "Not-to-be-missed" to-do with Ntbm restaurant in San Diego

Hi, gracious Hounders of SD. So you all seem like the best source for my quest to find an insider's ideal neighborhood, tour, activity in this great city ALONG WITH a nice dining experience. I'm thinking lunch, and have a car. I just want to consult the locals rather than Citysearch on this. Thanks in advance!

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  1. You'll probably get better replies if you define your search a bit more. On this board the really general, open ended questions tend to not get too much attention.

    San Diego is a very large geographic area covering several hundred square miles and includes, beaches, mountains, plateaus, mesas, canyons and a lot of highway.

    Where will you be staying? What do you like and in what are you interested? One person's ideal neighborhood might not be someone elses.

    2 Replies
    1. re: DiningDiva

      You are right of course, DD. I was going to use, as an example, "USS Midway and Oyster Bar at Fishmarket". I just thought there might be some hidden gem destination here that I wouldn't read about on the usual web searches. Perhaps I need to re-think my premise. I'm here for a month, doing a play at the Old Globe. We get weekdays and all day Monday off.

      1. re: Fiorentina

        You might be better off to try thinking about genres of food rather than neighborhoods. We're pretty spread out and our neighborhoods can be hit or miss. In Hillcrest (not too far from the Globe) the restaurants are cheek by jowl, in La Mesa, not so much.

        I know searching the CH archives can be a pit of a PITA, but they do have a lot of interesting this slideshow of Mexican taco shops -

    2. When dining at a fine establishment in a Convoy strip mall, a good parking spot is not to be missed!

      2 Replies
      1. re: The Office Goat

        I don't quite understand that, but I'll be mindful.

        1. re: Fiorentina

          I think he's being silly. Most of the good to very good Asian food is clumped up together in Kearny Mesa on Convoy St. Parking can be hard even during the week.

      2. I'd do café con leche with a pastry from Azucar in Ocean Beach and then walk to the pier at the end of Newport Avenue to watch surfers or take it to go and drive to end of Sunset Cliifs Boulevard, park and enjoy breakfast while taking in beautiful part of our coastline.

        Lunch could be a drive out to Cabrillo National Monument. (when shutdown ends), check out the tidepools or walk down the Bayside Trail, followed by lunch at Point Loma Seafoods, or Tender Greens or Con Pane in Liberty Station.

        Lunch at Mama Testa's followed by an afternoon at the San Diego Zoo.

        Grab a sandwich from The Cheese Shop to enjoy on the beach at La Jolla Shores.

        Morning hike at Cowles Mountain followed by a hearty breakfast or lunch at DZ Akins.

        A drive up to San Diego Botanic Gardens with a stop at Chino Farms to see what's fresh.

        Saturday at the Little Italy Mercato.

        Sunset & Cocktails at Marine Room or George's Ocean Terrace in La Jolla or Bertrand's at Mr. As to watch the planes land (George's good for dinner too - can't really recommend the food at MR or Mr As).

        So much to see and eat. Welcome, and enjoy!

        5 Replies
        1. re: melee

          Very nice, melee. It sounds like you know how to enjoy your days. How wonderfully mellow. And how nice that you shared this with Florentina.

          1. re: DoctorChow

            Thanks! I'm a native and love to share some of my favorite hometown spots :-)

            1. re: melee

              Oh thankyouthankyouthankyou, melee!!! This is exactly what I was hoping for. I'm printing out your list, and setting to
              work on it starting Monday. Will happily report back- can't thank you enough!

            1. re: melee

              Thanks for the great list! I have a guest coming in this week and these are some fantastic ideas. Really appreciate it.

            2. You should probably do something at Balboa Park - like go there and walk around.

              So, if you're there, might as well think about grabbing a bite to eat at, like at Prado (if you want something formal) or at the rather charming Tea Pavilion within the Japanese Garden. Or, you could just walk across 5th Ave. and dine at Cucina Urbana.

              1 Reply
              1. re: ipsedixit

                Thank you. Already have rez at Cucina Urbana, based on various other posts... Prado is a great post-show choice. They have a guitarist, and serve some nice apps and also have a late night happy hour! Nice surprise.

              2. Not sure about tours but here are some of our faves:

                Downtown - Cafe Chloe, Cowboy Star (might seem a little kitchy, but it really is good).

                Steamers at the bar at Fish Market, otherwise eat upstairs at Top of the Market.

                I still like Bencotto in Little Italy.

                Not too far from the Globe, Blue Ribbon Kitchen on University in Hillcrest (parking validation at Village Hillcrest). Great Maple on Washington.

                Since you are visiting from out of town, I would say you should experience lunch outside at both The Hotel Del Coronado (Sheerwater restaurant has improved quite a bit - make a rsvp), and lunch on the upstairs deck at George's in La Jolla.

                And you should experience fish tacos, and taco shops in San Diego. Two different subjects. Search this board for lots of recs and arguments. ;D

                10 Replies
                1. re: foodiechick

                  Great recs, fc. Did Blue Ribbon last weekend for Sunday late night, thanks to FakeName. Good to know about the parking validation though- Hillcrest is hoppin, ya'll. (What am I saying?- this city is the most UNcongested place I've stayed in a long while.) And yes, must begin the great fish taco survey soon, as the choices are dizzying. Def hitting oyster bar at Fishmarket, George's for lunch (I love a view), and some castmates wanted vegetarian, so I'm looking at Spread and Jyoti Bihanga?

                  1. re: Fiorentina

                    Spread hasn't gotten much play on the board recently, but in general, it's been pretty well received here. Try their peanut butter.

                    1. re: Fiorentina

                      Both are good choices for vegetarians. Love Jyoti's "neatloaf" and their Moroccan Salad.

                      1. re: Fiorentina

                        Since you'll have a few lunches and dinners available, go with the castmates to Tender Greens (Liberty Station) - The Happy Vegan salad is amazing.

                        1. re: Cathy

                          "The Happy Vegan salad is amazing."

                          Especially with sliced tenderloin!

                          1. re: Fake Name

                            I represent the stubborn omnivore contingent.

                              1. re: Cathy

                                Thank you Cathy. That's a lovely menu. Thinking of doing melee's suggestion of Cabrillo Monument (post-shutdown), and Tender Greens for lunch!

                                1. re: Fiorentina

                                  TG is only one of two restaurants where I went for lunch that I had to return to the same day for dinner. It is that good.

                                  Even if you can't get to the Monument, just before it is Fort Rosecrans Cemetery, which is open air. Great views of the City as well as the ocean.

                                  1. re: Cathy

                                    Cathy is right - beautiful views from Ft. Rosecrans especially after a rain or Santa Ana. Just make sure you go after 10 am to give the morning fog a chance to clear. Here's hoping the shutdown ends soon so you can check out the lighthouse, monument & tidepools too. It's one of my favorite spots in San Diego and a lunch at Tender Greens afterwards would be a great day!